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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees defend post-9/11 actions after criticism from Bobby Valentine

09.12.13 at 8:29 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Orioles, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 7 p.m. (WGN)
NFL: Jets at Patriots, 8:25 p.m. (Ch. 5, NFL Network)
College football: Troy at Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: TCU at Texas Tech, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Tulane at Louisiana Tech, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
WNBA: Minnesota at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ Bobby Valentine is at it again. During an interview with New York radio station WFAN on Wednesday, the former Red Sox manager was talking about his recollections of the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, when he was serving as manager of the Mets. The only problem is, his recollections continue to be different than reality.

Valentine criticized the Yankees for what he claims was a lack of effort helping the city heal after the terrorist attacks. The Yankees captured the attention of the nation after advancing to the World Series that fall, but Valentine claims his Mets were more deserving of praise.

“Let it be said that during the time from 9/11 to 9/21, the Yankees were [AWOL],” he said. “You couldn’t find a Yankee on the streets of New York City. You couldn’t find a Yankee down at Ground Zero, talking to guys who were working 24/7. Many of them didn’t live here, and so it wasn’t their fault. Many of them did not partake in all that, so there was some of that jealousy going around [from Mets players]. Like, ‘Why are we so tired? Why are we wasted? Why have we been to the funerals and the firehouses, and the Yankees are getting all the credit for bringing baseball back? And I said, ‘This isn’t about credit, guys. This is about doing the right thing.’ ”

Mariano Rivera, one of the Yankees players who did in fact spend time with families of victims in the weeks after the attacks, struggled to understand Valentine’s comments.

“It’s ridiculous,” Rivera said, via the New York Daily News. “For him to say that, I don’t know what basis he has to say that. I was there. I’m part of the Yankees. And it wasn’t just myself; a bunch of players and front office [personnel] were there.”

Added Rivera: “I don’t want to get into a ‘he said, I said.’ We know what we did. I’ll leave it at that. We know exactly what we did.”

Yankees president Randy Levine said it was “sad” that Valentine chose to “seek credit” on the 12th anniversary of 9/11. General manager Brian Cashman also questioned Valentine’s motive.

“I don’€™t know what to say to that, to be honest,” Cashman said. “I would point anybody who was covering us to go back and look what we were doing because that’€™s not what I remember. I don’€™t know what the purpose of him raising those issues is. I don’€™t agree with him. I personally was proud of our team. We did everything we thought we should be doing.

“I don’€™t understand the conversation, why we’€™re even having it here. It’€™s hard to speak to it, given everything else that’€™s going on. ‘€¦ I like Bobby. But in this case, I don’€™t understand it.”

‘€¢ A Massachusetts man attending Tuesday night’s Red Sox-Rays game was arrested Tuesday after grabbing Tampa Bay’s fuzzy blue mascot, Raymond, and was charged with disorderly intoxication, according to police in St. Petersburg, Fla. (via the Tampa Bay Times).

Trevor James Martin, 27, twice reached over a railing and grabbed Raymond by the neck, police said. The mascot pushed back and broke free.

Martin admitted that he had been drinking beer, and he was staggering and slurring his words, according to the arrest affidavit. He was released from jail early Wednesday on $100 bail.

Raymond declined to press battery charges.

‘€¢ Grambling State coach Doug Williams became the first casualty of the college football season when he was fired Wednesday after the Tigers opened the season with two losses.

Williams, a former Super Bowl-winning quarterback (Washington, 1988), led Grambling to a Southwestern Athletic Conference title in 2011, his first season in his second stint as coach at his alma mater, but he went 1-10 last year.

Williams, whose son, D.J., is a quarterback on the team, said he learned of his fate during a meeting Wednesday morning in the office of school president Frank Pogue.

“There wasn’t a lot of conversation. I told him, ‘OK,’ and I was gone,” Williams told The News Star of Monroe, La.

Running backs coach George Ragsdale, another former NFL player, is the interim head coach.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 12, 2005, David Ortiz hit his 40th home run of the season, a solo shot in the 11th inning to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto. With that clout, he became just the second Red Sox player to have back-to-back 40-home run seasons. Who was the first?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Come in and do what he did, you only see that in the movies. That guy is a good hitter. One day he’s going to get plenty of at-bats. He reminds me of myself when I first started. Don’t get to play too much, but with a good swing.” David Ortiz, on Mike Carp after Carp’s pinch-hit grand slam in the 10th inning lifted the Red Sox to a 7-3 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night

STAT OF THE DAY: 11 – Consecutive victories over AFC East teams by the Patriots, dating back to a loss to the Bills on Sept. 25, 2011, heading into Thursday’s game against the Jets

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Alabama coach Nick Saban is not happy to have to answer questions about Wednesday’s Yahoo! Sports report that former Crimson Tide offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (and four other former SEC stars) violated NCAA rules by accepting benefits from ex-Alabama player Luther Davis, who was working for some NFL agents and advisers. (Skip to the 3:30 mark.)

Video streaming by Ustream

Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder Wladimir Balentien ties the Japanese League record for home runs in a single season with his 55th during a loss to the Hiroshima Carp on Wednesday. Balentien, who spent parts of three seasons in the major leagues with the Mariners and Reds, has 21 games left to break the record he now shares with Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Carl Yastrzemski, 1969-70

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Barry White, who died in 2003, was born on this day in 1944.

Read More: bobby valentine, brian cashman, Doug Williams, Mariano Rivera